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Dec. 9, 2016
Fifty-six fifth graders from the Independence (Mo.) School District’s Fairmount Elementary School, with their teachers, principal and chaperones, recently spent a day attending Northwest Missouri State University classes, touring the campus, interacting with the University students and learning about college life.
Teacher candidates from Assistant Professor of Professional Education Dr. Summer Christensen’s literacy methods course at Northwest accompanied the fifth graders Oct. 26 as they learned about college life, academic majors, college student experiences and coursework. The teacher candidates interacted with the elementary students by escorting them to locations on campus, talking with them during lunch and answering questions during a panel discussion.
The grade schoolers’ campus visit was part of an ongoing partnership with the Independence School District that involves a collaboration experience for Northwest literacy and special education methods teacher candidates who also spend a day at Fairmount to observe and teach literacy lessons.
“The partnership with Fairmount continues to strengthen and enrich the teaching opportunities for our teacher candidates,” said Dr. Vicki Seeger, an assistant professor in Northwest’s School of Education. “Additionally, the relationship with Fairmount gives Northwest teacher candidates opportunity to interact with and learn about children whose life and school experiences are vastly different from most Northwest students.”
The fifth grade field trips, which have become an annual initiative, are designed to give students who may have never been on a college campus an opportunity to experience what college life might be like.
“Our hope is that the students will feel empowered to attend college, if that is their desire, and to consider education as a potential career path,” Seeger said. “After being on campus for the day and leaving with a Northwest T-shirt, the Fairmount students think of themselves as Bearcats.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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